Growing up in a very traditional West Indian home, I was raised to believe that it was a man’s DUTY to approach a woman for a date. The shared responsibilities in this interaction between a man and a woman were two-fold as per traditional social-rules: It’s the man’s job to accurately determine whether that woman wanted to be bothered by him, and it was her job to clearly define her level of interest through her overt body language [and sometimes verbally too]. This was the unwritten, yet socially accepted form of dating as I was growing up [although I wish women had a lot more OVARIES to walk up and approach men, but I will get to that later], but it appears even THAT simple interaction is no longer a given. Enter, my homegirl Fiana.
Fiana of Approach2link is the brains behind an event called The Conversation Party (happening this Sunday) in which grown men and women discuss different relationship issues – and the topic for this event is “Just Because I Smiled At You Doesn’t Mean I Want To Get With You” [Which I couldn't disagree with anymore] but here is her rationale: Women should be free to smile all day long and at whomever they feel, but that should not incite men to try and approach her just because they shared a smile.
Well here’s my question to that: What in the hell are we SUPPOSE to use as approachable-indicators if SMILING, the most basic form of human warmth and social invitation to conversation, is OFF the table?
And here’s my own answer to my own question: NOTHING. Which means the dating-dichotomy will have to inherently change and women will have to start doing the one thing y’all are SCARED-SH*TLESS to do: Approaching men yourselves.
See, if women want to create further boundaries to make it even MORE difficult for a man to know when to approach, then the easy solution to that is putting EQUAL onus on WOMEN to approach men – but you KNOW you don’t want that. Y’all want all the positive without the negative, all the benefits without the harm, and all the multiple orgasms without dude’s sweat in your eye. To illustrate my point, let me tell y’all about a funny story that happened to one of my homegirls this week [let's call her Andrea]:
Andrea saw some handsome dude Sunday night downtown, but she was too scared to approach him and he bounced out of her life. She texted me right after and I called her SOFT for not having the heart to holla at the dude. Two days later I received a call from her late night, all excited talking ’bout “I found him! I’m following him into this bar and I’m gonna muster up the strength to talk to him!” After giving her a quick pep talk, she finally built the courage to approach him – and she actually ended up getting his name and number. She text messaged him the next day – and never heard back from him, essentially making her feel like a DUMBASS. Now Andrea will NEVER approach another man EVER in her life, and she’s gonna do EXACTLY what MOST women already do: Just give men slight non-verbal indicators that they are OPEN to be approached – and as far as us men are concerned, SMILING is the number ONE sign you’re interested.
So ladies, here’s the deal: If you don’t want to be approached, then the onus is on YOU to not SMILE at the frowsy dude at the party or bus stop who you DON’T want to come and holla at you. Until the magical day comes when women have enough FORTITUDE to chop men, you will have to deal with learning how to accurately control your body language.
This Is Your Conscience